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Poor state of multibillion Hoima Central Market worries leaders

HOIMA – Six years after construction of the Hoima Modern Market, local leaders have identified a number of anomalies with the structure that seem to affect the efficient running of business at the facility.

The facility built under the Markets and Agriculture Trade Improvement Project (MATIP) was constructed by Amugoli General Enterprises.

The Shs13 billion project was funded by the African Development Bank (ADB).

Brian Kaboyo, the Hoima City Mayor, said the anomalies have left several stalls unoccupied. The facility that hosts 561 vendors in 358 stalls has 37 unoccupied stalls. Also 9 out of 171 lockups are not occupied.

Kaboyo made the revelations last week while meeting the State Minister for Local Government, Victoria Rusoke, who was on a country tour to ascertain challenges faced with cities and markets.

According to Kaboyo, the drainage channel did not slope well to enable the flow of water and other waste materials  and this requires regular cleaning of channels and leads to the high cost of maintenance.

He also complained about the lack of direct access to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors of the market adding that when the ground floor is closed, vendors and other businesses on the upper floors have no option but to close and move out.

Kaboyo further explained that the market is lacking solid waste collection points inside and outside which makes it difficult to manage the wastes at the facility.

He added that the market was connected on commercial meters for both water and electricity yet the vendors are very poor and they cannot afford paying such utilities. He called on the government to get solar systems in the facility to reduce the expenditure incurred on electricity.

Besides, the market is currently leaking which is resulting to the peeling of the ceiling and developing cracks.

Kaboyo appealed to the Minister to send a team of MATIP engineers to come on the ground and get away of rectifying the anomalies on the facility.

Hoima Resident City Commissioner (RCC), Samuel Kisembo, also reiterated the Mayors call for immediate intervention to rectify the defect and other anomalies to create a good working environment for the vendors.

He further noted that the defects need to be worked on because the more it continues like that the more its structure get weakened putting the lives of vendors at risk.

The Minister for Local Government, Victoria Businge Rusoke, promised that the government will soon get funds and install solar energy and cameras in the facility.

She also directed the RCC and Minister of Local Government  to send a team on ground to investigate the claims and file a report for rectification.

“I am not happy about what I am hearing, about leakages and peeling of the ceiling because this property is not yet 15 years old and other markets are intact, so this must ring a bell in the ears of the RCC  that instead of giving a year and more months; we should at least give five years or ten before we give the last fund called defects liability period, these people (contractors) do away with such issues because they know after one year, they are exonerated,” she  expressed her dismay.

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